One of the things I am most commonly asked about being Diabetic is how the diagnosis came about.
My symptoms came on very quickly and it’s hard to pinpoint the precise day or even week when they started, but I would say that I started to notice something was wrong around September of 2012. The four key symptoms to watch out for in terms of Diabetes are:
Thinner – losing weight rapidly
Thirsty – needing to drink more often than normal
Toilet – going to the toilet more often
Tired – feeling exhausted even after a good night’s sleep
I certainly had three out of those four although I don’t recall feeling particularly tired during this time. I certainly started to drink more, although by a freaky coincidence I had made a conscious decision to start drinking more water (and not just cups of tea and coffee) as I felt I was not hydrating enough during the day. So this symptom was masked to a certain degree. Of course I was going to the toilet more often, including – almost unheard of for me – having to get up in the night to go, but again I put this down to me drinking more water.
I also lost weight – a LOT of weight. I can’t be sure exactly how much but I estimate I lost about 2 stones over an 8-10 week period. Again, I didn’t notice this (or more accurately I didn’t worry about this) because I had started doing more exercise as a result of (a) getting back on my bike after a period of very little cycling caused by a change in my work pattern, and (b) because we got a new puppy requiring regular walks! So, another symptom masked by a change in lifestyle.
One thing that did concern me was a series of crippling night cramps I experienced during this time. They were like nothing I have ever experienced before in my life, always affecting my feet and calf muscles. It was more than just a normal cramp, it felt as though my entire lower leg was hardening like concrete. I mentioned these cramps to my Doctor when I went for my diagnosis. She made a note of them but never did tell me whether or not the diabetes had anything to do with them. I can only assume they were linked, though, because I have not suffered them since.
In the end it was the weight loss that promoted the first visit to the Doctor. Getting on the scales (at the insistence of my wife) I was shocked to see just how low my weight had dropped. Within 2 weeks of that weigh-in I had my Type 2 diagnosis.
Since then, I have been keeping some records of my general health and medical treatment which you can find on the pages in this section of my website.